Blog: Mike Finney

Mike is president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. A passionate advocate for the transformation of Michigan's high-tech economy he also managed the MEDC’s $1 billion Michigan Life Sciences Corridor initiative between 2000 and 2002. Mike will be wriing about who's making a difference in the Michigan and why.

Post No. 1

It’s time to catch someone doing something right…

I read (and listen) with great interest to the plethora of things that go wrong in our state/community on a daily basis. I often find myself wondering - what if we only focused on good news - things that are going right? Would it change the way we deal with problems, what we think of each other, or the way we react to challenges? I say YES. One of the many lessons that I learned from my father was the importance of positive reinforcement – catching you doing something right. God knows that with seven children, my parents had far too many opportunities to catch us doing something wrong. 

Over the next few days I will share thoughts on this theme. Let me start by sharing a couple of my recent - I caught you doing something right’s.

University Presidents, Mary Sue Coleman, Irvin Reid, and Lou Anne Simon

…for establishing the University Research Corridor (URC) and for your commitment to play a greater role in the economic revitalization of our state, I caught you doing something right.

I watched with great interest the reaction from participants in last week’s "Rising Above the Gathering Storm Conference" hosted by the URC. The media coverage included Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Columbus and most other major markets that we compete with for business attraction. This is precisely the type of favorable media coverage our state needs…and our universities deserve recognition for making it happen. Our research universities enjoy excellent reputations for educating students and discovering innovations that will change the way we work and live. With their continued support of economic development, Michigan’s economic recovery will certainly accelerate.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Jim Epolito

…for your Upper Hand and Pure Michigan marketing campaigns, I caught you doing something right.

We can all agree that our state needs to diversify our economic base. With such a long and successful history as home to automotive/manufacturing, Michigan is not frequently on the radar screen of most "innovation-focused" business decision makers. The decision by MEDC to invest heavily in promoting our many innovative companies and tourist attractions is proving to be just what our state needed to compete for companies like Google and Aernnova. While the long-term impact of these marketing programs is yet to be determined, there is plenty of evidence that we are heading in the right direction, and these initiatives deserve our continued support.

Please join me in contributing to this BLOG by sharing who you “caught doing something right.